Guide to how Councils are funded

An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland.

A new publication detailing how councils in Scotland are funded is now available.

The Chief Statistician at the Scottish Government has released a brief guide to the annual process that, in 2020-21, distributed about £12.7 billion to Scotland’s 32 councils. Each council is responsible for a range of services, such as schools, housing, social work, street lighting, road maintenance, refuse collection, elections, and planning.

The funding comes from Scottish Government Grant, Non-Domestic Rates, and Council Tax.

The Scottish Government seeks to distribute its funding fairly between councils. It does this by agreeing the method of distribution with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) and councils. This publication describes the calculations used for 2020-21.

By mid-October more than £380 million of additional funding had also been made available to councils due to the Covid-19 pandemic. These funds are not included in this publication.

The figures were produced by independent statistical staff, free from any political interference, in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.


Read the full statistical publication.

Other statistics about local government finance.

More information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland.


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